Where the Streets Have No Gold: Cities Without a Championship, Part 2



Welcome back for Part 2 of the my lists of franchises that can’t win their respective league’s championship. In the first part, I looked at the NFL and MLB. In this part, I look at the NBA and the NHL. Then in Part 3, I will look at the MLS and an overall look at the cities and states of these franchises.

As with all leagues, the lists are made using three components: Championship game/series appearances, playoff success, and year the franchise was established.




The NBA is comprised of 30 teams, 13 of which have not held the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Of those teams, seven of them have yet to even make it to the NBA Finals series.

13. Orlando Magic: Made it to the NBA Finals in 1995 and 2009.

12. Brooklyn Nets: Made it the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. In both appearances, they were still located in New Jersey.

11. Utah Jazz: Played in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.

10. Phoenix Suns: Made it to the NBA Finals in 1976 and again in 1993.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers: One NBA Finals appearance in 2007.

8. Indiana Pacers: Made one NBA Finals appearance in 2000.

7. New Orleans Pelicans: No NBA Finals appearances since being established as the Hornets in 2002.

6. Memphis Grizzlies: Established in 1995 and have not made an NBA Finals appearance.

5. Toronto Raptors: No NBA Finals appearances since being established in 1995.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Established in 1989 and have not made it to the NBA Finals.

3. Charlotte Hornets: Began play in 1988 and have not made it to the NBA Finals. The franchise had no team from 2002 to 2004 after move to New Orleans.

2. Denver Nuggets: No NBA Finals appearances since joining the NBA in 1976.

1. Los Angeles Clippers: Established in 1970 and have yet to make an NBA Finals appearance.

*The Magic, Nets, Jazz, and Suns were listed on dates of appearances.

*The Pacers and Cavaliers are listed by date of one appearance.

*The teams with no appearances are listed by franchise establishment date. Despite both teams starting in 1995, the Raptors are listed before the Grizzlies because the Grizzlies have made it to the Western Conference Finals in the 2012-2013 season.




The NHL has 12 teams that have yet to hoist the Stanley Cup Trophy. Nine of the teams are from the United States while the last three are from Canada.half of the teams haven’t even had the chance to win the championship.

12. Vancouver Canucks: Three Stanley Cup Finals appearances in the 1981-1982, 1993-1994, and 2010-2011 seasons.

11. St. Louis Blues: Three Stanley Cup Finals appearances in three consecutive seasons from 1967 to 1970.

10. Buffalo Sabres: Two Stanley Cup Finals appearances in the 1974-1975 and 1998-1999 seasons.

9. Ottawa Senators: Appeared in the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup Finals.

8. Washington Capitals: One Stanley Cup Finals appearance in the 1997-1998 season.

7. Florida Panthers: Appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals after the 1995-1996 season.

6. Minnesota Wild: No Stanley Cup Finals appearances and established in 2000-2001.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Established in the 2000-2001 season and have no Stanley Cup Finals appearances.

4. Winnipeg Jets: No Stanley Cup Finals appearances after beginning play in the 1999-2000 season. Played in Atlanta from 1999 to 2011.

3. Nashville Predators: Established in the 1998-1999 season and have not appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals.

2. San Jose Sharks: No Stanley Cup Finals appearances and began playing in the 1991-1992 season.

1. Arizona Coyotes: No appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals and established in the 1979-1980 season. Played as the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL from 1979 to 1996.

*The Blues and Canucks were listed based on dates of their three Stanley Cup Finals appearances. The Senators, Capitals, and Panthers were listed the same way for their one appearance.

*The Blue Jackets were listed ahead of the Wild because the Wild has had more playoff success, including a Divisional Championship in the 2007-2008 season.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.